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St Peter's Basilica, Rome, Italy

Rome, Abruzzo and Puglia

  • TAILOR-MADE HOLIDAY IDEA

Duration

15 Days

Prices Start from

$6,987pp (ex. flights)

Suitable for

Couples Families

A wonderful off-the-beaten-track journey through the heritage, gastronomy and agriculture of the southern regions of Abruzzo and Puglia. This trip is jam-packed with experiences and activities that make a positive impact through your connection with the people, places and pastimes of the local communities.

Start with a few days in Rome before setting out to Abruzzo and Puglia. Visit stunning historical towns and hilltop villages, walk in national parks, get involved with local farms and their artisanal food production. Taste wines and meet the owners of local wineries, go fishing with local fishermen, and enjoy local gastronomy and hospitality in small tavernas and homes across the regions. The journey ends with a few days’ relaxation on the picturesque beaches of Puglia.

Key Highlights of this Itinerary

Woman in Mountains, Italy, © Umberto Esposito - Wildlife Adventures 1

Specialist guides

Daily activities are accompanied by specialists for authentic interactions and insider access.

View towards hilltop fort surrounded by mountains with smatterings of snow. 2

Wild Italy

Explore the lesser-known region of Abruzzo to see pristine biodiversity and a strong rural heritage.

pasta al pomodoro recipe 3

Local Artisans

Abruzzo is famous for pecorino cheese, Montepulciano wine and De Cecco pasta. Meet the makers and taste exceptional local produce.

Otranto, Puglia, Italy 4

Hidden beaches

Stay by the Puglian coast with its golden sandy beaches, crystal clear waters and stunning natural beauty.

How does this holiday make a positive impact?

This holiday supports small, artisanal food producers and their communities, helping to protect their legacy for generations to come. Spend time with Abruzzo’s ‘trabocchi’ fishermen and see age-old skills put into practice. Join a sheep farmer to learn how pecorino cheese is made. You will stay in hotels that give careful consideration to their impact on the environment, at every level of their business, from renewable energy use, waste disposal, food miles and community involvement. Sextantio Hotel is a great example of how a hotel can have impeccable eco-credentials and has breathed life into the forgotten places and people of Abruzzo. The hotels have been handpicked carefully for their green credentials and their lack of compromise on the comfort of your stay.

Explore our suggested itinerary

  • Day 1- 4

    Rome

    Three full days to explore Rome

  • Day 5

    Rome - Santo Stefano di Sessanio

    Self-drive from Rome to Santo Stefano di Sessanio in Abruzzo

  • Day 6 - 8

    Santo Stefano di Sessanio

    Spend three full days in the Abruzzo region

  • Day 9

    Santo Stefano di Sessanio to Monopoli

    Self-drive from Santo Stefano di Sessanio to Monopoli in Puglia

  • Day 10 - 12

    Monopoli

    Explore the region of Puglia

  • Day 13

    Monopoli to Otranto

    Self-drive from Monopoli to Otranto

  • Day 14

    Otranto

    Rest and relax by the beach

  • Day 15

    Otranto - Bari

    Self-drive from Otranto to Bari, depart

Day 1- 4

Rome

Basilica di San Pietro, Vatican, Rome, Italy

Go underground to the Capuchin Crypt and Aqueducts. Visit the Vatican, Sistine Chapel and Villa Borghese, to find some of the world’s most famous works of art. See Imperial Rome and the Colosseum. Take a guided walk through the Jewish quarter, which ends at the Piazza Della Scala, a quaint ivy-laden piazza in Rome’s bustling Trastevere neighbourhood. Encounter the marvellous “Farmacia Santa Maria Della Scala,” an old pharmacy built into the cloister of the church.

Day 5

Rome - Santo Stefano di Sessanio

Day 6 - 8

Santo Stefano di Sessanio

View towards hilltop fort surrounded by mountains with smatterings of snow.

Wake up to views across the Apennine Mountains of Abruzzo from the rustic, boutique Sextantio hotel and spend three days exploring the area. Walk in the Gran Sasso and Laga national park which not only offers breath-taking panoramas of beautiful valleys, rushing rivers and thunderous waterfalls but also introduces you to the extraordinary food producers of this region. Make pecorino cheese, catch fish with the Trabocchi fishermen, harvest grapes and taste wine and in doing so, support small businesses and protect local heritage.

Day 9

Santo Stefano di Sessanio to Monopoli

Day 10 - 12

Monopoli

Puglia, Italy

Stay three days at a typical Apulian Masseria or organic farm. These wonderful farmsteads dot the landscape across Puglia, surrounded by olive plantations and fruit trees, the Masseria’s have been in families for over five generations. It’ll be a stay that you’ll never forget. You will also explore the pretty, historic towns and villages of the region and the exceptional and otherworldly UNESCO site of Matera.

Day 13

Monopoli to Otranto

Day 14

Otranto

Otranto, Puglia, Italy

For your last few days in Italy, enjoy the beautiful location of your hotel, hidden amongst pine forests and sand dunes and overlooking the crystal-clear sea.

 

Day 15

Otranto - Bari

Our travel experts can tailor this itinerary to suit you.

More details

Valeria Valentina, Cena Romana, Rome, Italy
Italy
Coliseum Amphitheater, Rome, Italy
Italy
Rome, Italy
Rome, Italy
Villa d'Este fountain, Rome, Italy
Villa d'Este fountain in Rome
Colosseum, Rome, Italy
The Colosseum, Rome

Rome

Arrive into Rome and immerse yourself straight into Roman life by joining a ‘Cena Romana’, dinner with a Roman family. Visit the Capuchin Crypt and the ancient aqueducts, with our resident archaeologist. Take a private tour of the Vatican and Sistine Chapel. Visit the Pope’s country escape and the majestic, Villa Borghese. See some of the most spectacular highlights of Imperial Rome including the Colosseum and eat and drink at authentic, family-run restaurants where the food is just so good.

View over church roof to rolling green hills and mountains.
Italy
View towards hilltop fort surrounded by mountains with smatterings of snow.
Italy
Mountain view against blue skies.
Italy
View over pretty village rooftops to turquoise lake and mountains beyond.
Italy
Wild goat (chamois) stood on sloping alpine hillside with pink flowers in foreground.
Apennine chamois
Abruzzo National Park, Italy
Abruzzo National Park

The region of Abruzzo

The beautiful region of Abruzzo, nestled between the majestic Apennine Mountains and the Adriatic Sea is remote, rural and almost forgotten, and that is why we love it. Explore the Gran Sasso Mountains with your guide, where you will discover excellent local agricultural and food produce. Spend time with a local sheep farmer and learn how he makes pecorino cheese. Meet the producers of Montepulcino wine. Spend time walking through gorgeous valleys, past rushing rivers and thunderous waterfalls.

Tracocchi fishing, Abruzzo, Italy
Tracocchi fishing, Abruzzo, Italy

The Trabocchi Coast

A visit to this region is not complete without visiting the Trabocchi coast. Emerging from the water like mysterious giants that guard the horizon, the trabocchi (ancient wooden structures) are one of the peculiarities of this beautiful coastline. Spend a day here with your guide, visiting the trabocchi fishermen. Learn about their craft, taste delectable local food and enjoy the picture-perfect villages and panoramas.

 

Otranto, Puglia, Italy
Otranto, Puglia
Martina Franca, Puglia, Italy
Martina Franca, Puglia
Borgo Egnazia, Fasano, Puglia, Italy
Borgo Egnazia, Fasano, Italy
Puglia in Italy
Puglia, Italy
Ostuni, Puglia, Italy
Ostuni, Puglia
polignano a Mare Puglia
Italy

The region of Puglia

Located in Italy’s sunny south, Puglia is a long, narrow region bordered on two sides by the Ionian and Adriatic seas. Visit the city of Lecce with your guide, often referred to as the Florence of the south, with its maze of winding narrow streets and abundance of Baroque style architecture. You will also visit a renowned local winery where an expert sommelier will accompany you to discover the local vineyards, flavours and colours of the region, through a carefully prepared food and wine journey.

Matera, Puglia, Italy
Matera
Matera, Italy
Matera,Italy

Matera

A highlight of Southern Italy is a visit to the UNESCO heritage site of Matera. This place is a unique and fascinating place to visit. It is most famous for its ancient cave dwellings where people lived up until 1952. You will explore this complex and beautiful network of rock-cut caves and churches on a walk with your expert guide. Visit a rock church with beautiful frescoes.

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Katie was very helpful and extremely responsive in arranging our hotel. Help and advice was always forthcoming and invaluable.

Destination: Italy
Travel Expert: Katie

A note on price

This holiday idea is jam-packed with special, unique experiences and activities which has increased the overall price. Each day you are accompanied by a specialist or expert in some field. By reducing activities/experiences the overall price can be reduced considerably. Please ask our experts to tailor-make your itinerary.

Prices will vary depending on the time of year you are travelling and accommodation choices. In this itinerary, we suggest a mixture of luxury hotels and mid-range accommodation.

Prices do not include international flights. Please ask one of our Travel Experts for an accurate quote. Flights purchased through Steppes Travel departing from the UK are ATOL protected.

This Itinerary
Price
From $6,987 Per person

When to travel

Italy in January

The promise of winter sunshine and milder temperatures make Italy an enticing destination in January. Some attractions will be closed as it is the offseason, but the south of Italy and Sicily will be quiet and very pleasant. The wintertime generally brings the lowest rates and fewest visitors along with chilly temperatures, rain, and often snow in the north. In the south, winter temperatures average around 10°C. There is an exception to winter being low season- in and around any of the mountain ski resorts it is the high season as these areas draw many skiers, snowboarders and other snow sports enthusiasts.

Italy in February

February is generally low season, other than Carnival which falls in the period before Lent, generally during the month of February. Except in beach and island locations, many restaurants, shops and family-run hotels shut down. You can enjoy the major cities without the crowds, and hotels often offer significant discounts. The wintertime generally brings the lowest rates and fewest visitors along with chilly temperatures, rain, and often snow in the north. In the south, winter temperatures average around 10°C. There is an exception to winter being low season- in and around any of the mountain ski resorts it is the high season as these areas draw many skiers, snowboarders and other snow sports enthusiasts.

Italy in March

March is considered shoulder season in Italy and is arguably the best time to visit. Temperatures are typically very comfortable. While you won’t enjoy the lowest rates or the fewest crowds of the year, the shoulder season is an ideal compromise between the low and high seasons.

Italy in April

April is considered shoulder season in Italy and is arguably the best time to visit. Temperatures are typically very comfortable, and in the spring you can hike through the lush, green meadows of the Italian Alps. While you won’t enjoy the lowest rates or the fewest crowds of the year, the shoulder season is an ideal compromise between the low and high seasons.

Italy in May

Early May is considered shoulder season in Italy and is arguably the best time to visit. Temperatures are typically very comfortable, and in the spring you can hike through the lush, green meadows of the Italian Alps. From mid-May through July and again in September, the country will be teeming with visitors, and rates will be at their highest. Expect very warm temperatures throughout the country, with the most extreme heat in the south and just about anywhere inland. If you visit during this season, you can beat the biggest crowds by venturing to smaller villages and lesser-known places, avoiding the big cities like Rome, Venice and Florence.

Italy in June

In June the country will be teeming with visitors, and rates will be at their highest. Expect warm temperatures throughout the country, with the most extreme heat in the south and just about anywhere inland. If you visit during this season, you can beat the biggest crowds by venturing to smaller villages and lesser-known places, avoiding the big cities like Rome, Venice and Florence.

Italy in July

In July the country will be teeming with visitors, and rates will be at their highest. Expect warm temperatures throughout the country, with the most extreme heat in the south and just about anywhere inland. If you visit during this season, you can beat the biggest crowds by venturing to smaller villages and lesser-known places, avoiding the big cities like Rome, Venice and Florence.

Italy in August

August is generally very hot in Italy and considered low season, with practically the entire country going on holiday, especially during the second half. Head for the mountains for cooler climes for exceptional walking and hiking opportunities.

Italy in September

In September the country will be teeming with visitors, and rates will be at their highest. Expect warm temperatures throughout the country, with the most extreme heat in the south and just about anywhere inland. If you visit during this season, you can beat the biggest crowds by venturing to smaller villages and lesser-known places, avoiding the big cities like Rome, Venice and Florence.

Italy in October

Shoulder season is arguably the best time to visit Italy. Temperatures are typically very comfortable. In the autumn, you’ll have food festivals galore to choose from, as well as the grape harvest in October and the olive harvest in November. While you won’t enjoy the lowest rates or the fewest crowds of the year, the shoulder season is an ideal compromise between the low and high seasons.

Italy in November

Shoulder season is arguably the best time to visit Italy. Temperatures are typically very comfortable. In the autumn, you’ll have food festivals galore to choose from like the olive harvest. While you won’t enjoy the lowest rates or the fewest crowds of the year, the shoulder season is an ideal compromise between the low and high seasons.

Italy in December

The promise of winter sunshine and milder temperatures make Italy an enticing destination in December. Some attractions will be closed as it is the offseason, but the south of Italy and Sicily will be quiet and very pleasant. The wintertime generally brings the lowest rates and fewest visitors along with chilly temperatures, rain, and often snow in the north. In the south, winter temperatures average around 10°C. There is an exception to winter being low season- in and around any of the mountain ski resorts it is the high season as these areas draw many skiers, snowboarders and other snow sports enthusiasts.

Holiday Inspiration

Our experts have created and curated these tailor-made holiday ideas to get you started. Take the time to search through them and find something that is the spark for your unique adventure.

Why Choose Steppes?

Our knowledge and expertise set us apart. So too our curiosity. It is this that drives us to create a journey that is really bespoke to you, all the while ensuring we travel and operate sustainably.

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